General Science, Mathematics, and Technology


How does a search engine work?

Internet search engines are akin to computerized card catalogs at libraries. They provide a hyperlinked listing of locations on the World Wide Web according to the requested keyword or pattern of words submitted by the searcher. A search engine uses computer software called “spiders” or “bots” to automatically search out, inventory, and index Web pages. The spiders scan each Web page’s content for words and the frequency of the words, then stores that information in a database. When the user submits words or terms, the search engine returns a list of sites from the database and ranks them according to the relevancy of the search terms.


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